No support from Edgartown selectmen for Triangle pot shop

Town leaders cite traffic as a major concern.

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Selectmen say the proposed site of marijuana shop on Beach Road isn't ideal. - Lucas Thors

The proposed location for the Main Street Medicinals marijuana shop at the Triangle in Edgartown got little support from town leaders Monday, who cited traffic as a major concern.

“You couldn’t have picked a worse location,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck told Joshua Silver, a principal with Silver Therapeutics Inc., a licensing consultant for Main Street Medicinals. “We have all kinds of horrible traffic issues there.”

Silver sent a proposal to the town last week, outlining his vision and seeking a host community agreement for a marijuana shop at 20 Beach Road on 0.41 acres of undeveloped land in the strip mall that includes Trader Fred’s, Your Market, and Wolf’s Den Pizza. Silver said marijuana would be cultivated at an approved site in Tisbury.

Silver Therapeutics is the licensed operator of a retail marijuana outlet in Williamstown, and has a provisional license for a cultivation and processing facility in Orange.

The property would be managed by Noah Eisendrath, who was also the proposed manager for a marijuana shop in Tisbury. Eisendrath, an owner and operator of two Boston restaurants and bars, has had liquor license infractions involving minors being served, but says that won’t be an issue due to the tightly regulated marijuana industry.

Selectmen Margaret Serpa and Michael Donaroma agreed that a location at the Triangle would be a bad idea. “I rode by there yesterday just to see, and it’s a totally bad area,” Serpa said. “That lot is full already with the businesses that are there, and to add a high-volume business, it’s not the right area.”

Selectmen suggested Silver look at the Airport Business Park as a potential location for his shop.

Silver said he reached out to “the airport,” which he said has its own set of regulations, and was not interested in a marijuana facility.

“They were not interested in supporting a cannabis endeavor. They were under the opinion, and I can explain why I think it’s a mistaken opinion, that it would jeopardize their registration with the [Federal Aviation Administration],” Silver said.

Speaking to The Times by phone Tuesday, airport director Geoff Freeman said he had spoken to Eisendrath previously.

“The FAA may not approve the release or lease of federally obligated airport property for the cultivation or sale of marijuana at obligated airports. Cultivated sales would be illegal under federal law,” Freeman said. “Even though the towns can zone for certain areas and point in certain directions, it only goes so far with the FAA, unfortunately.”

Despite the selectmen’s indication that the Triangle would not be a great spot for his shop, Silver said there would not be a high volume of traffic, like similar shops in Brookline, but more like Silver’s other shop in Williamstown, which sees a “steady trickle” of customers.

“The traffic report that we’d like to put together, if we’re allowed to move forward, would show that it would easily be absorbed and not have a significant impact on traffic patterns there,” Silver said. 

Smabeck said there were other places on Martha’s Vineyard that would be better suited for his proposed shop. “Rather than try and pound a square peg in a round hole, I think what you were looking for was our reaction, and I think traffic, traffic, traffic, that’s a big issue in Edgartown right now,” Smadbeck said. “I’m not interested in any kind of business that’s going to put that kind of traffic to the Triangle.”

In addition to the Edgartown location, Main Street Medicinals is pursuing a location in Tisbury. In April, the town signed a host community agreement with the company. Silver plans to file for a special permit from the Tisbury planning board within 30 days for a location on Mechanic’s Street. 

Silver said his next steps would be consulting with the company’s traffic engineer on whether they would or would not impact the traffic.